British Prime Minister David Cameron's ongoing visit to China, the first since he took office in May, will inject new vitality into Sino-UK relations and lift bilateral cooperation in trade to a higher level.
The fact that Cameron is leading the biggest delegation ever by a British prime minister to China, one which includes political and business heavyweights, speaks volumes about the importance the new British government, a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, has attached to its relations with China.
The British officials will hold a series of talks with Chinese officials on a wide range of topics including trade, finance, energy and education. This high-level exchange of views will help build consensus on issues of common concern, deepen mutual understanding and pave the way for bilateral ties to grow on a faster and healthier track.
Trade between China and the UK is increasing steadily. In the first nine months of the year, the bilateral trade volume hit $63.51 billion, according to Chinese customs data. The UK was one of the largest investors from the European Union in China and one of the biggest destinations in the EU for Chinese investment.
Nonetheless, emerging economies including China still occupy a less significant position in Britain's entire foreign trade landscape. It will be mutually beneficial if the two countries can greatly enhance their partnership in trade and fully tap the potentials in various fields such as high-end manufacturing, the green economy, infrastructure and financial services.
Pragmatic bilateral cooperation in trade will contribute to each other's economic growth and benefit the world economy as well.
In this regard, the third China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue, held on Tuesday in Beijing, provided a major platform for officials from the two countries to discuss economic issues with strategic, long-term and overall significance.
With the world economic recovery still facing a lot of uncertainties, strong economic recovery is a top priority for all countries and they should work together to contribute to robust, sustainable and balanced growth.
China and the UK should join hands in holding up the spirit of constructive cooperation. They should strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination, fight trade protectionism and avoid politicizing economic issues.
Changing the economic development pattern and adjusting the economic structure is the path China and Britain should take to ensure economic sustainability. Pragmatic bilateral cooperation in trade and other fields including finance, technology, education and culture will contribute to this momentum.
Both countries should heed each other's major concerns and respect each other's core interests - the precondition for bilateral cooperation.
Cameron's China visit has come just before his participation at the G20 summit, to be held in Seoul, South Korea, from Nov 11 to 12. It will facilitate Sino-UK and Sino-EU cooperation and coordination at this important international platform.
(China Daily 11/10/2010 page8)